Measles Balochistan: Vaccine refusal claims 3 lives
File photo of a malnourished child in Quetta

Measles Balochistan: Vaccine refusal claims 3 lives

Editorial :

A measles outbreak has claimed the lives of 3 children in Balochistan’s Killa Abdullah district the other day. All victims belonged to a poor and marginalized family in Killi Foladzai area of the district.

Health officials described the incident as a result of vaccine refusal on the part of parents. The district has already had the highest chronic refusal ratio when it comes to poliovirus. Killa Abdullah is the only district that has reported one polio case during 2021.

Media reports prompted the health officials to visit the broken family and meet parents. Although, most of the cases in Killa Abdullah and other districts of Balochistan go unnoticed and fail to get the attention of officials. The health sector paints a bleak picture in rural Balochistan and the parents face difficulties in the diagnosis of their children.

Balochistan reports 13,000 chronic refusals regarding poliovirus 

A few days back, this daily reported 13,000 chronic polio refusals across Balochistan, quoting the UNICEF program and health officials. Nonetheless, independent sources put the number high as quoted by the officials regarding polio refusals.

Undoubtedly, routine immunization has improved in Balochistan, with officials claiming more than 40 percent. However, it is still less and poor as compared to other provinces of the country.

Boosting routine immunization can only address the issue of poliovirus, measles, etc. An awareness campaign coupled with a viable strategy should be launched to sensitize the parents.

Indigenous strategy needed

This is indeed an alarming situation because the parents doubt the measles vaccination campaign after poliovirus. An indigenous strategy with a better administrative mechanism should be evolved to convince the parents to refuse polio drops and measles vaccines.

Just to remind our readers, Killa Abdullah had reported 73 polio cases during the year 2012. This was the highest number. Eradication of poliovirus and measles epidemic needs coordinated efforts among all government departments, UN agencies, and masses of Balochistan. The health department alone cannot address this issue.

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About the Author

Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.